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Published: Wednesday, 8/18/2004

Grandstand concert is free tonight

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The fair board hopes to fill its 6,000-seat grandstand tonight, which it hasn't done since Britney Spears performed in 1999, with a free concert by the country band Confederate Railroad.

The band's hits such as "Queen Of Memphis," "Trashy Women," "Jesus And Mama," and "Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind" are regularly played on country radio. It has sold 5 million albums.

The free concert is expected to cost the fair board $10,000 to $12,000, fair board president Sue Goldsen said. But fair leaders hope it draws more people to the fair, which charges a $5 gate admission.

Admission to the fair's other grandstand shows this week ranges from $7 for the cheapest demolition derby seat Friday night to $26 to see country music stars Trace Adkins and Dierks Bentley tomorrow night.

The Frosty Cow, operated by dairy farmers in the Lenawee County Holstein Association, charges 25 cents for a glass of chocolate or white milk and 50 cents for a soft-serve ice cream cone - just like when it opened in 1981. Its milkshake prices, however, increased some years ago to $1, up from the 1981 price of 75 cents.

"It's good stuff," said Ms. Goldsen, who added that she eats there every day of the fair.

The Frosty Cow is one of more than 30 food stands at the fair which runs through Saturday in Adrian. New at the fair this year is a barbecue stand called Three Little Pigs, selling turkey legs and corn on the cob as well as ribs and chicken.

New elsewhere is Saturday night's FreestyleMX.com motorcycle jumping grandstand show. The fair board has arranged for 1,000 yards of dirt to build a jumping point that will be the focal point of the show that is expected to appeal to teenagers.

The fair has a new mechanical ride company with 25 rides on the grounds this year, including several that are new to the fair.

The open class sheep show is larger than last year and includes breeds of sheep that have not been exhibited at the fair in several years.

More horses are entered in the fair's 4-H and FFA youth show than it is had in at least 10 years and has run out of stalls, county 4-H agent Janelle Stewart said.

Youths entered 168 horses this year, up from 145 last year, while only 140 horse stalls are available.

Ms. Stewart attributed the increase to area riding stables that have helped link horse owners willing to lease a horse and youngsters who could not afford to buy one.

The county's 1,400 members of 4-H and Clover Buds, which is for 5 to 8-year-olds who are too young for traditional 4-H competitions, and their families help boost the fair's attendance to what Ms. Goldsen predicted would be 40,000 to 50,000 over the seven-day run. The fair opened Sunday.

Contact Jane Schmucker at:

jschmucker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6102.



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